Another easy child 2 question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'll try to keep it short.

    A couple of years ago, maybe longer, easy child 2 was miffed at her dad and I. Upon investigation, her mom had told her that she could barely afford to buy groceries because she had to pay for easy child 2's existence, and was mad at us, because mom paid it all and we paid nothing.

    We breifly explained the concept of child support to her then, and told her that we give mom money to help pay for part of those things. We left it at that.

    When she was here over spring break, she asked how much we paid her mom. I showed her. I also told her that it wasn't for the benefit of her fun and games, it was for things like food, electricity, a car to get her aroundr, clothes, doctor, etc (to which easy child replied "grandma buys my clothes and pays when I go to the doctor", but anyway). I also showed her our household budget, so she wouldn't think it was just tons and tons of money.

    Apparently after easy child 2 went back to her mom's and after a few days asked if she could bring the skates next time she came here. Mom said no, and easy child 2 asked why. First mom told her it was because she'd forget them here. easy child 2 said she wouldn't, and even if she did, she could come get them. Then mom said it was because she pays for all the stuff easy child 2 has at mom's house and mom doesn't want it to come here. easy child 2 told her she knew about child support and that our money helped pay for stuff. Then mom changed it again and her excuse was that if she let easy child 2 bring things here, she'd have to let her husband's kids take stuff from there to their mom's house...

    So, anyway...I'm sitting here feeling guilty that I said anything to easy child about child support ever. I think junk like this should not be part of a kid's world, but on the same note, way back when we first explained child support, I don't think her mom needed to be venting to easy child about her financial woes being our fault, either. Kids are expensive. According to the child support charts, we're paying more than our share.

    So...did I screw up?

    I'm actually kinda proud of easy child 2. Not that I ever condone fighting with the parents, but unfortunately, easy child 2 has to realize her mom doesn't always lead her down a good path (the woman straight up told easy child 2 to lie to us, more than once), and she's going to have to learn to think things thru for herself. She didn't "win", but she at least made an effort to hold her ground. She talked thru it with me yesterday and now is questioning what the other kids have to do with her bringing something to dad's house - the other kids are rarely there when easy child 2 leaves there to come here or goes back there from here - they would never be aware. She's also thinking about wanting to spend more time here, which I think is the root of all of this...she wants to spend at least half-time here (she told me last night) and I think she's testing the waters with mom, cause she knows she'll have to stand her ground.

    (PS - I'll be so glad when she finally starts with the counselor. We FINALLY got her mom talked into letting us take her to counseling, but her first appointment isn't until May. I'll be glad when it gets here, tho...)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Shari...I dont have an answer for you and I really wish I did because I can so see this being a problem that is going to come into play at some point in our lives with Keyana. I think Keyana is probably in the position easy child 2 is in your family. Well...except Keyana actually has 4 homes! So far we dont have the taking stuff back and forth problems but as she gets older I think it could happen.

    I dont know how I am going to feel if I get her something expensive such as say...a Nintendo DS...and she wants to take it home with her. She has both an older and a younger brother now so really its not fair that only she gets one from us. Ugh...questions!!!

    Dumb questions...I send candy and crayons and stickers home for everyone.

    Gosh you ask some guestions to get me thinking!
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Keyana's too young to understand, really, but the other families around us who have children and are divorced have always let the kids things be the kids things, so that's kinda what we've done. If she was going to an uncle's house, we'd let her take her stuff there...we try to approach this the same way. We just ask easy child to tell us when she takes something from here because every once in a while, we'll use something of hers when she's not here. and also that way we can kinda be on the lookout for it to return cause things have a way of going to mom's and never being seen again (her room there is a stye - not much better here). But she knows she's welcome to come get any of her stuff here. Heck, we even loaned stuff to her step-siblings for halloween costumes last fall! If it doesn't come back, its on her. Of course, that's not applicable to a 4 year
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Without knowing anything other that what you post here....I think you did fine. Yes, generally financial stuff isn't anything the kids need to know specifics on. BUT...I think in this case, easy child 2 has a right to know what's going on. Her mom, for whatever reason, isn't the most honest and forthcoming person and, at least in my humble opinion, easy child 2 needs to realize this before she starts acting the same way.

    You didn't present it in a way that puts her mom down or is insulting to her. You presented it in a matter of fact way with information that she could understand but yet not so much that she knows every penny you spend. SHE was the one who started making the connections between what her mom tells her and what actually goes on. Not to sound as if she needs to turn against her mom but this is stuff she needs to understand, as you said.

    I wouldn't feel bad about it. And if her mom gets upset? Eh....that's her problem. Yes it will probably affect easy child 2 in some way but when doesn't it? The good part of that is that easy child 2 obviously knows you guys are the.....*searching for the right word*.....consistant ones and while her mom's reaction may not be fair to her....I think she knows she has allies in you and her dad.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I think what you told her was fine. Miss KT knew when I got child support, and that it was to help run the house so she could get what she needed. Of course, we always went out to dinner when it showed up!
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Shari, another vote for "you did fine". I think you handled the situation properly. When children ask a direct question, they deserve to receive a truthful answer, that's geared to their level of understanding. I think you hit just the right note. You didn't say anythi disparaging about her mom, yet you let her know how things really stand, which gives easy child 2 some very important tools and that she'll need as she grows and learns to evaluate people's character, stand up for herself, etc.

    As for the stuff, my position is that a child's things are his or hers, and he should have the ability to take them back and forth to wherever he needs to be. Little easy child does the rounds, staying with family members from whom I'm estranged, and he's allowed to take with him whatever he feels like taking. When possible, I try to arrange for duplicates at each home, so that he doesn't have to worry about forgetting things at one place that he'd like to play with at another place. It does get a bit confusing, but I figure, we're all the grownups in this mess, so we're the ones who should be trying to make our kids' lives easier, not more difficult.

    You're doing great!

  7. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    My parents never discussed child support around me, but they NEVER tried to tell me the "other" parent wasn't paying a share, either!

    If you were just showing her to show her, I'd think that was a little unnecessary. But you weren't---you were proving that you DO love and care for her, in contradiction to what her Mom is trying to tell her. As much as that SOUNDS a little "wrong" (in the she-said, we-said, kinda way), I think it's exactly what she needed to hear, and I can't imagine anything else could have proved the truth to her. No worries, I think you did just fine. :)
  8. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    I don't think you screwed up. Your easy child is getting to the age where she knows and understands a lot more things about what's going on. You were straightforward and truthful, didn't try put the other side down, were just supplying her with the info she'd asked for.

    I'm like Trinity. My kids things are their things. They can generally take them where ever they want, with the stipulation that they ask first so that I know what's leaving the house and can check when they get home to make sure it gets back home. I have said no if it's not an appropriate place to have the thing they want, but to take it to aunt's, grandma's, friends, I have no problem. I think your easy child's mom may find herself having a problem, in that easy child'll start to resent the no you can't, and take what ever anyway, lying in the process. I feel it's best to have your child learn the responsibility for their things, being honest, rather than they try to find ways around a parent telling them no.